Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great leader. But that leadership wasn’t built on ego, or self-aggrandizement. It wasn’t that he was seeking the spotlight, or asserted himself as leader, or promoted himself into leadership. He was a great leader because he served the people and a cause. He didn’t place himself above anyone; he didn’t ask anyone to do anything he would display as an example; He gave more of himself than he asked of others. He sacrificed for the mission.
The paradox was that his greatness and his continuing legacy were not sought after, nor his goal; but because rather because he served a cause and a people his leadership remains one of the best examples of possibilities.
Great leadership is based on mission and purpose. It’s more example that rhetoric. It’s recognized and heralded by others rather than self-announced. It humbly serves rather than asks for donation. It supports and encourages more than soliciting for support and encouragement.
Dr. King is remembered more for the demonstration of character that made him a great leader than for the leadership itself. Great leadership always begins with character.
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